A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 04, 2005
Liberty (WNBA women’s basketball team)
The New York Liberty played its first season in the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) in 1997. The Statue of Liberty is on the team's logo, so the nickname's meaning is pretty obvious.

The New York Liberty Story

On October 30, 1996, New York was selected as one of eight charter members of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Within four months, Carol Blazejowski, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, was named Vice President and General Manager for the New York franchise. Rebecca Lobo and Teresa Weatherspoon joined as the team's first players and the franchise name and logo was introduced.

The first WNBA game was played on June 21, 1997 in Los Angeles. Led by head coach Nancy Darsch, the Liberty defeated the Los Angeles Sparks, 67-57, before a crowd of 14,284 at The Forum. The contest against LA began a three game road trip, where the Liberty went undefeated. They came back to New York with a 3-0 record, for the first game in their new home, Madison Square Garden. On June 29, 1997, in front of a crowd of 17,780, the Liberty scored their first win at home, defeating Phoenix, 65-57. Not only did the Liberty make their WNBA debut in 1997, but so did the Liberty's mascot, Maddie -- appropriately named after Madison Square Garden, the world's most famous arena and new home of the Liberty.

14 February 1997, Newsday, pg. A76:
Liberty Means New York, WNBA Style
By Michael Dobie, STAFF WRITER

What's in a name? If you are the general manager of the New York franchise of the fledgling WNBA, you look for something reflecting both your home and your status as a pioneer in the new women's basketball league. In that regard, Carol Blazejowski said there was only one logical choice.

So New York's newest professional sports franchise was introduced yesterday as the New York Liberty.

"Liberty stands for so much," Blazejowski said. "Not only the fact that she's a woman, but also opportunity and {she is} one of the most recognizable landmarks not only in New York but also in the world."

The announcement, and the unveiling of the logo, was made at Madison Square Garden before an audience that included members of three girls basketball teams - St. Aloysius CYO from Great Neck; defending city public schools champion August Martin from Queens; and the Rising Stars, an AAU team from New Jersey - as well as former Connecticut star Rebecca Lobo, one of two players assigned to the Liberty.

"I guess it really is fitting that the Liberty is the team that I'm playing for," Lobo said, "because when I was at Connecticut, coach {Geno} Auriemma said I played Statue of Liberty defense: I stood there like this and let offensive players drive around me to the basket."

14 February 1997, New York Times, pg. B14, col. 1:
"Liberty" for New York Club

The New York team in the new Women's National Basketball Association will be known as the New York Liberty, and its logo shows the Statue of Liberty, with the flame from its torch hinting of a basketball.

The name and the logo were unveiled yesterday at Madison Square Garden, and REBECCA LOBO, one of the team's first two players, smiled when she looked at the statue's extended arm.

''My coach at Connecticut, GENO AURIEMMA, said I played Statue of Liberty defense,'' she said. ''One arm up and I didn't move.''

Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: entertainment services in the nature of live basketball games and basketball exhibitions and the production and distribution of radio and television broadcasts of basketball games and exhibitions. FIRST USE: 19970621. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970621
Design Search Code 070908 130102 210301 240102 240103 240907
Serial Number 75234883
Filing Date February 3, 1997
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition August 15, 2000
Registration Number 2498544
Registration Date October 16, 2001
Owner (REGISTRANT) WNBA Enterprises, LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DELAWARE 450 Harmon Meadow Boulevard Secaucus NEW JERSEY 07094
Attorney of Record RICHARD A FRIEDMAN
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Posted by Barry Popik
Sports/Games • Wednesday, May 04, 2005 • Permalink

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